Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 0 comments
   Hollywood's greatest musical - a Classic! Yes, the golden age of hollywood has caught up my attention in movies after watching this film. It lead me to watch movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, West Side Story, City Lights, The Misfits and Days of Wine and Roses (quite few still, but surely I'll be watching more soon)

  This is actually the first classic movie I have ever watched. Does it sound familiar? yes? may be no? If you're a GLEEk (a GLEE series fan) then you would have heard about this already. It was mentionedvin the episode where Gwyneth Paltrow first appeared (one of my favorite episodes) as a substitute for Mr. Schuester. This movie was the favorite movie of Mr. Schuester whenever he is sick and they have actually performed the "Make 'em Laugh" (I did not know it was part of the movie until I saw the movie itself-I'll talk about this later) part of the movie, as well as the song "Singin' in the Rain" mashup with Rihanna's Umbrella. I was really curious about the movie so i downloaded it and I really enjoyed watching it.

Singin' in the Rain (Musical/Comedy/Romance)

      In Monumental Pictures, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) started as a musician with his best friend Cosmo (Donald O'Connor) and was given a chance to act as a stunt man in the movies and later was also given a big break to pair up with a beautiful actress Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), (I really hate her character here, so irritating- I guess that's good for her right?), who then thought that they are in a relationship which is only an on screen acting. They have a new film called The Royal Rascal- a silent movie which was really a hit but then their popularity had dropped-off after producing a talking picture (you'll know why when you watch it). For the first time people did not like what they have seen despite the demand of talking pictures. Yes, it was indeed the transition year from silent movies to talking ones - the sound era in Hollywood (It was also really nice to see the settings in the movie making industry back in the days, where there was still no green screens, lavalier microphones and where each scenes were made on set/studio). Don met this woman named Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), an aspiring actress after a group of fans frenzied upon him and from then on he can't seem to stop thinking about her until one day they meet again. The next scenes were on how they have saved the Dueling Cavaliers by re-making it into a musical- the Dancing Cavaliers and (the best part) how they teach Lina her lesson. 

Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds 

    The three main casts were just superb! to add, as well as Jean Hagen for being the well-played "Kontrabida" (filipino term for villian) They are really very talented people! (haha! I just remembered Lina Lamont saying "I ain't people"). With all the singing and the dancing- I thought they were all really professionals (Gene is, I believe). The tap dancing numbers were just amazing to watch-truly entertaining. 

  Lina Lamont's screechy, accented voice and dumb-like (but funny) and irritating narcissistic personality is just unlikely to her beauty (I'm not saying that it's always a prerequisite, it's just that I believe that great beauty is seen not only on the outside but also within a great heart), good thing that is just on screen. Also, that's a good thing since she (Jean Hagan) could make viewers really react and I guess that's really her job as an actress. (Whenever we are watching "Teleseryes"/prime time shows at home,we would always react to the characters especially to the kontrabida- it could really affect our lives nowadays. I also remembered a video in youtube where a kid cried because her favorite character died in the show)

   Gene Kelly was really handsome-great smile!, I never really thought that he was 40 years old during those days. Great singer and dancer-really! I love his solo "Singin' in the Rain" which was supposedly to be done by the three. I bet that one would be cool, but still, the solo was perfect! Their trio number " Good Mornin' " was really good as well. 

   Debbie Reynolds was actually 19 years old at that time (At first, I was shocked of the age gap but then I realized that even in Philippine movies they actually pair up even with that kind of age gap). I feel that she is really meant for that part, having a really sweet face; she was just lovely. 

I quoted these from

"When Debbie Reynolds' character is supposedly dubbing the singing for Jean Hagen’s character, Debbie’s voice was, in fact, dubbed by Betty Noyes. In several scenes the Debbie Reynolds’ character is supposedly lip– syncing and rerecording Jean Hagen’s speaking–voice. In actuality, Jean Hagen’s real voice was much more cultured than Debbie’s voice, so Jean dubbed Debbie dubbing Jean’s character."

    (I was really WHooaaaH!) I have also read that other were saying that Debbie's singing voice was limited but I agree to disagree with that, I really find her true voice much more nicer and appropriate for her looks (I searched for her "Would you" version in youtube), or I'm not just a fan of the so-called refined/cultured voice (no offense).

 Although “Singin' in the Rain”made Debbie Reynolds a star, she had some mixed feelings about the actual making of the film. "Gene Kelly made me work so hard," she revealed in a 1998 interview, "that I'd almost pass out trying to keep up." In another interview she added, “The two hardest things I ever did in my life are childbirth and “Singin' in the Rain”. In a 2002 TV Special made by Turner Entertainment Co., Debbie said that after 14 hours of shooting the song and dance number "Good Mornin' ", "When I took off my little blue shoes my feet were bleeding from all the dancing." On the other hand she also admitted that, “He [Gene Kelly] worked me hard, but he taught me so well that I’m still in the business 52 years later because of his teachings.” Debbie Reynolds was not a dancer at the time she made Singin' in the Rain — her background was as a gymnast. Kelly apparently insulted her for her lack of dance experience, upsetting her. Fred Astaire was hanging around the studio and found Reynolds crying under a piano. Hearing what had happened; Astaire volunteered to help her with her dancing. 

     After reading that, I really felt sad for Reynolds and my feelings for Gene Kelly became off- that was really a minus point for him, but then I realized that it's actually his job (Kelly was also one of the directors) and it was nice for him to really admit it (see the quote below). Also just what Reynold said, he taught her well enough which made her stay in the business for 52 years, so it's also a good thing. And to that man, Fred Astaire! He's really nice for doing that! Very sweet! (I can't remember where I heard that name before- but according to my research he is considered as the 5th Greatest Male Star of All Time) Kelly was quoted as saying, “I wasn’t very nice to Debbie (Reynolds). It’s a wonder she still speaks to me.” 

   Last, but not the least, Donald O' Connor (my favorite). His tandem with Gene Kelly was just exceptional. I feel that if he was not on that movie, it wouldn't really be that great. He was really a great comedian, musician and dancer! I love her comedic, wacky, hysterical solo "Make em laugh" (my favorite number in the movie), which was described as a tour-de-force number. It was really brilliant! I also love his number with Gene Kelly "Mosses Supposes". I really like his character in the film, the very funny, intelligent, creative and artistic best friend of Don. At first it seems that people don't actually appreciate the efforts he did and the talents he have but then he still is the great person that he is - a very positive one, that in the end he is actually the mastermind to the success of Dancing Cavaliers. I just hoped that there was a great ending for him as well, like having a lover too or be given a big break in the film industry. But in real life, he actually won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical. 

   I super love this movie. An ultimate feel-good movie, you'd want to watch over and over again. Very fun and entertaining. I hope they would produce more movies such as this one.  

  Whenever I have watched someone who can really dance and sing well, I can't help but to feel sad that I really don't have those kind of talents and feel envious to those people, I also find it difficult to answer questionnaire that would include "Talents and Skills", but I do dance in school programs and sing at home- I don't sing in videoke or anywhere public unless I have no choice (but we do have a choice, we just won't choose to choose or we are just afraid to choose) because everyone is supposed to do the same thing. (I really hate those moments, there was two during my elementary days, one was when we where in a class, and we were all supposed to sing individually and another was when in our club, we were told that we were required to audition individually to see who would sing Lupang Hinirang (the Philippine National Anthem) in the program. Another in College, when I attended a debut where the 18 candles have to sing or dance - I'd rather sing unprepared over dancing or dance prepared over singing-get what I mean?). I do love music and I do love to sing but I just don't want others to hear it and I really get nervous in doing it in front of many people (even just talking in front of many people makes me nervous, what more singing) - it's not really a usual thing for me. For some, it's really not a big deal, but for me, yes! it definitely is. So sometimes, most of the time , if I can, I just would not show that it bothers me. 

   If you want to read more about this movie, see this It has a very detailed everything of the movie. haha. enjoy!

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